Eat to Live Green Smoothie

best liquid for green smoothie Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live Program Green Smoothie Nutritarian recipe green smoothieI think we all know the drill by now: eat more raw veggies (especially greens) to live longer and lose weight.

Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian plan is all about loading up on salad.

“Salad is the main course!”  It’s the mantra that allowed me to lose 21 pounds on the 6 week plan without working out–so, that’s one powerful message.  During those 6 weeks, I ate a large salad as my main course for lunch and dinner.  I did it religiously.  It worked.

Now that I’m on the life-long nutritarian plan, I’ve learned that extending the “salad is the main course” principle to include breakfast sheds weight faster!  Dr. Fuhrman goes so far as to call a green smoothie a “blended salad!”

When I have my green smoothie in the morning I notice I have more energy and feel fuller longer than when I opt for just plain fruit or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast.

Why do you feel fuller longer when you start your day with a green smoothie?  Because you’re feeding your body the nutrients it needs in a very efficient way!

Eat to Live Program Dr Fuhrman Nutritarian Plan Green Smoothie tips and tricks

Wanna geek out with me on the science behind green smoothies?  Yay!  If not, scroll down to get tips and tricks and a basic Eat to Live green smoothie recipe!

The Scientific Reasons Why Green Smoothies Rock!

The key is that raw cruciferous veggies, like kale, collard greens and watercress, have some of the most important phytochemicals known to man.  And the very best way to get to those potent nutrients is by chewing well, juicing, chopping or blending.

First, a little refresher, with some scientific backing from Dr. Fuhrman’s latest, The End of Dieting:  Phytochemicals are complex chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants.  They support self-reparative mechanisms in cells and enable the body’s defense system to work against waste products, such as free radicals and advanced glycation end products–a.k.a. all the stuff that keeps us fat and unhealthy!

Cruciferous veggies have a special phytochemical: ITCs (short for a long scientific word you’ll forget anyway).  ITCs fight inflammation, inhibit supplying oxygen to your fat cells (thus helping them to die–yay!) increase you body’s detoxification enzymes and fight against cancer.  These ITCs are magic and you want them in your body.  All.  The.  Time.

So, we know we want raw cuciferous veggies and we know the best way to activate them is through blending, so how do we not mess this up?

Glad you asked!

First let’s talk liquids.

Eat to Live program Plan Dr Fuhrman top 3 best and worst green smoothie liquids

What’s the Best Liquid to Use For a Green Smoothie?


Boring, right?  I know, but it is hands-down the best liquid base for your green smoothie.  It doesn’t add any calories or interfere with the veggie goodness and the best part?  It’s free!

Runner up: coconut water.

This is my personal favorite.  But is has to be unsweetened.  Look for a brand that has one ingredient: coconut water. Period.  It’s actually harder than you think to find, so read labels.  I personally use ZICO.

100% coconut water has 50 calories for 8.45 ounces.  But what I love most is the potassium advantage.  Coconut water gives you 490mg of potassium (that’s 14% of your recommended daily value) woop woop!  It also brings in 4% calcium, 4% magnesium and 2% phosphorus.

There is some naturally-occurring sodium, which makes it not as good as water, but the electrolyte load is worth it in my book.

Third: Almond Milk.

You could lump soy, hemp and other nut-based milk into this category (though for me personally, almond milk has the best flavor to pair with raw greens).  Again, this only works if it is unsweetened.

So why the third-place status?  Mostly the processing and added ingredients like xantham gum and tricalcium phosphate.  If you make your own nut-milk at home, then your good to go!

Almond milk does win in one critical area: calcium.  You get 45% of your daily need with just 8 ounces!

Stay away from juice, coconut milk and dairy.

Juice provides a lot of calories without any of the fiber found in whole fruit.  Dr. Fuhrman does have some smoothie recipes that can for a half cup of juice or less, if you really must, be sure to keep it to a minimum.

Coconut milk has waaaay too much fat.  Enough said.  This is supposed to be a blended salad people, not a blended spinach dip!

Dairy would not only taste pretty gross with greens, but there are compounds in dairy that actually counteract all the veggie-goodness going on!

Eat to Live Nutritarian Program Green Smoothie Recipe Dr Fuhrman PBS

Always Add Seeds to Your Green Smoothie!

If you’re not already doing this you need to start now!

Seeds do two things: (1) they provide even more phtyochemicals and (2) the fats in seeds increase the absorption of the protective nutrients in vegetables eaten in the same meal.

So, image your kale (which is pretty darn spectacular by itself) magnified, pumped, charged, ready to kick some free-radical-ass!!  That’s what adding seeds to your green smoothie does!

Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily for their omega 3s and I just add those 2 tablespoons right into my morning smoothie.   They blend easily and have a mild nutty taste.

Another great seed to add is hemp seed.  They have almost no flavor (have a good dose of potassium and magnesium) and blend up nicely.

I do not recommend blending chia seeds into your green smoothie.  They get very gelatinous and it affects the consistency.  They do better sprinkled on top.

Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live Plan Program 6 week plan nutritarian The End of Dieting Green Smoothie Recipe

Go For The Greens!

This is my giant bag of chard, kale and spinach.  I buy it at Costco and stick it right into the freezer.  You don’t need to do anything fancy, they freeze easily and don’t clump together.

So, the main goal to attain the “perfect” Eat to Live green smoothie is to load up on the greens!  I absolutely stuff in as much as I can.  My goal is 2 cups of greens per serving.

Don’t worry the fruit is there to add sweetness.  You want to get right to that sweet spot where the greens’ taste is not too overpowering and it still taste slightly sweet.

Really push yourself to get as many in there as possible!

Dr Fuhrman PBS Eat to Live Green Smoothie recipe Vitamix nutritarian

A Basic Eat to Live Green Smoothie Recipe

Serves 1

  • 1 cup frozen fruit (I like to do half pineapple & half mango)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 cups kale, chard and/or spinach
  • 1 1/4 cup liquid (water, coconut water or unsweetened nut-milk)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed or hemp seed

Use this basic recipe and start incorporating green smoothies for breakfast most days a week!  Your going to feel a change in your energy level, you’re going to feel fuller longer (cause your body got a mega-dose of those phytochemicals it needs) and you’re going to be losing weight or more easily maintain your ideal weight!

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Meet Kristen | Hello Nutritarian

Hi, I’m Kristen! I adopted a nutritarian lifestyle over four years ago and have been sharing my experiences ever since. I’ve found that a successful life stems from eating to live and it’s my mission to make this lifestyle doable for everyone who’s ready to end their issues with troubled eating, weight gain and food-related disease! If you make one of my recipes make sure to tag @hellonutritarian on Instagram or Facebook so I can show you some love!

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  1. Jennifer

    JUST made this for breakfast. It. Is. Amazing. Used water as my liquid and it was perfect. I love what the hemp seeds add too! Thank you for the recipe! One question – I added some plant based protein powder. Does that mitigate the benefits at all? I always feel like I need to add protein to my smoothies in the mornings. I would love any thoughts on that! Hope you have a great day! xoxo

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Jennifer! Yay! I’m so glad you tried it out!! That is a really great question, so I went to my books! Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t advocate a diet that is too high in protein. “Almost all Americans get enough daily protein. In fact, the average American consumes more than 100 grams of protein each day, about 50% more than the recommended daily amount.” The danger really comes from animal-based proteins because they raise IGF-1 levels (an insulin-like growth hormone that has shown to be cancer-causing). “Protein-rich plant foods, such as seeds, beans, and greens, don’t raise IGF-1 levels, don’t contain pro-inflammatory substances, and are rich in anti-inflammatory and life-extending phytochemicals.” So, since your protein powder is plant-derived you should be fine! I think this might need to be a future blog post cause there is a lot of good information on this! About every other day I have a side of tofu eggs with my green smoothie!

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Steph! Such a great question! So, I did a little digging around and found this article about banana substitutes.

      They recommend: oatmeal, chia seeds, avocado, frozen fruit (mango, peaches and young coconut), yogurt (I’d recommend a non-dairy one with coconut or almond milk).

      So, in this green smoothie recipe, you could use more mango, maybe 1/2 a cup extra.

      I hope this helps! Please let me know how it goes!

  2. Judith

    Great post. Interesting that you don’t recommend chia especially using something like a Vitamix. I use 1 T each flax, chia, hemp and rolled oats. I soak the hemp and oats overnight and then add everything else using a NutriBullet. I never use banana and right now the only fruit is blackberry because I have lots in the freezer. I was using 2 T hemp and no rolled oats but I was running low on hemp so changed to the 1:1 and never looked back. But either way the smoothie came out super smooth and creamy so banana is not necessary and no sub needed.

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Judith!

      You raise a really important point about chia seeds!

      The other day I had run out of banana and wanted to make my usual morning green smoothie. About 1 tbsp of chia seed worked wonderfully to thicken the smoothie without the banana!

      The only reason I didn’t include rolled oats in the recipe is on Dr. Fuhrman’s plan you’re only allowed 1 cup of whole grains daily, so I wanted it to a recipe that could be used even if your whole grians quota had been met for the day!

      Thank you so much for sharing your subs for banana!!

      xo, Kristen

  3. Rainbow

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m on my forst day of the 6-week plan and kindof freaking out about not being allowed my daily smoothie. This helps a lot.

    My question is about matcha. I started adding green tea powder to my smoothies a few months ago as a way to get caffiene without many calories (to replace my creamy, sugary coffee). Do you think adding matcha is going to affect the smoothie’s nutritional punch?

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Rainbow!

      Yay, so glad you’re liking the smoothie recipe! If anything, green tea can only make it better! Dr. Fuhrman lists green tea as one of the foods that help fight fat (you cna find the table on page 87 of The End of Dieting) and it also has special phytochemicals called “catechins” that have shown to absorb ultraviolet radiation and help prevent skin cancers!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      xo, Kristen

  4. Kelly

    Do you add the ground flax or hemp seeds into your frozen smoothie bags? Or do you add it with the coconut water when you blend? Thanks!

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Kelly!

      So I don’t include the seeds in my smoothie prep packs, but I don’t think there would be any difference if you did!

      Go ahead and give it a try!

      xo, Kristen

  5. Martha

    Kristen I was wonder about the green smoothie,I add ginger,celery,green apple,parsley and juice it. It is better to place it in the blender and I like your hones opinion. Sometimes instead of the morning time I will have it in the afternoon.

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Martha!

      So, Dr. Fuhrman advocates for smoothies over juices because the juicing removes the fiber from the fruits and veggies. You could absolutely blend your celery, apple, ginger and parsley!

      And yes, you can have your smoothie at any time, I usually pick breakfast because I strive to get in two giant salads each day for maximum health and weight loss benefits!

      xo, Kristen

  6. Brad

    Where have you been the last year of my life??? I found your site on the eat to live Facebook group and can’t stop browsing. I’ve been following the eat to live program for the last year and so my I’ve found so many helpful tips – thank you! I love you idea of adding frozen green. I usually make salads for the week on Sunday and I’m often not left with any other greens for smoothies. Thank you!!

    1. Kristen Post author

      Hi Brad!

      So happy you found the blog and that you are part of the ETL facebook group!

      I’m so glad you’ve found content that is helping you in your health journey!

      Yes, you can buy a head of kale and just throw it right in the freezer for smoothies!

      xo, Kristen

  7. Bryna Christensen

    I have been using a Magic Bullet to mix my smoothies, but find it does not blend well when using frozen fruits. Is there a blender that you love?

  8. Mardelle

    Hi Kristen! When you say 2 cups of greens, do you compact them down into the measuring cup?
    Thx Mardelle

  9. Rebecca

    Is there something less starchy I can use besides banana? Or is there a certain reason it’s added, such as flavor? I tried it this morning and have a week supply prepared. It was delicious!

  10. Carrie

    Hi Kristen,
    I noticed on your 6 week diary you had fruit and/or almond butter for most breakfasts, or oatmeal. Is there a reason you are recommending smoothies? Which is better for weightloss and health? I’ve noticed that smoothies can sometimes give me (ahem) diarrhea.

  11. Sara

    I’ve recently started doing green smoothies every day as a way to get in the greens and fruit (which I’m not a big fan of). I was adding pre-milled flax seed (Bob Mills), but then read how the store bought milled flax seed has lost it’s nutrients before you even get it home. So I bought a cheap coffee grinder today and a bag of whole flax seeds and starting tomorrow I’ll be grinding my own seeds! I’ve also started doing a 1/2 ounce flax seed/1/2 ounce sunflower seed combo in my smoothies and I can’t taste the sunflower seeds at all when it’s all blended together (another thing that I’m not a fan of lol). Green smoothies make it so easy to get in the good stuff, even the ones you might not like 🙂

    1. Kristen | Hello Nutritarian Post author

      Hi again Sara!

      I can’t thank you enough for all the lovely and thoughtful comments you’ve shared ont he site–please know that I value each and every one of them!!

      WOW!! You are awesome!! I’ve been thinking about doing the same and then I just lazy-out–but you are seriously inspiring me to get on the fresh-ground bandwagon!!

      xo, Kristen

  12. Erin

    what about organic rice, organic hemp, or organic grain milks instead of almond milk? I really can’t stand almond milk. I understand why not coconut milk with the fat. Thanks in advance

  13. Kathy Doby

    I’m so thankful to have found your site! I’ve been nutritarian for several years and love all your encouragement and tips. It’s hard living with people who think I’m a little extreme–but they all are drinking green smoothies now. I always add berries to my smoothies since Dr Fuhrman recommends eating them every day. I also find that cucumber makes my smoothies light and refreshing.

    1. Kristen | Hello Nutritarian Post author

      So wonderful to meet you Kathy!

      I’m so happy you found you way to the site!

      Oh, I definitely understand about living with non-nutritarians, I have 3 of them 😉

      Thank you so much for adding such great tips to green smoothie guide! I’ve been meaning to add cucumber to mine as well–thank you for the re-inspiration!!

      xo, Kristen


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